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Hi everyone! I’m starting to do some research for when I apply to schools to get my PsyD or PhD next year. By the time I graduate I will have at least a 3.5 GPA and a well rounded transcript with many psych, sociology and human development courses. I currently have my associates in Psychology and should have my BA in Psych next fall. I haven’t taken my GRE yet and I don’t currently have any work background in Psychology. I don’t know if I’m smart enough to get into PhD programs so I’ve been looking at PsyD programs. Here’s my list right now
  • William James College
  • Pacific University
  • Antioch Seattle
  • Antioch New England
  • University of Denver
  • University of Hartford
  • Chestnut Hill College
Please let me know what you think about any of these programs, or if you know of any other good programs that you think I could get into with my GPA. Any other advice is greatly appreciated!! I want to be a child/adolescent clinical psychologist.
 
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AbnormalPsych

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Pause for a bit.

GPA and not majoring in psych are not killers for you, but put you behind others a bit.

So,
Nail the GRE.
Get research experience in a Psych Lab. Ideally get on at least 1 poster and 2 strong research based letters of recommendation. If you can, get a full time job doing this.
 
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Sep 23, 2020
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Pause for a bit.

GPA and not majoring in psych are not killers for you, but put you behind others a bit.

So,
Nail the GRE.
Get research experience in a Psych Lab. Ideally get on at least 1 poster and 2 strong research based letters of recommendation. If you can, get a full time job doing this.
I guess I didn’t mention but I am a psych major! One of the things that I’m worried about the most is that I go to school online, so I don’t really have research opportunities. I’ll definitely try to get a job again or do some volunteer work. I’m super worried about getting those letters of recommendation.
 
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AbnormalPsych

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Ah, I see.

You have any big name Universities or Colleges around you? Cold emailing professors and offering free labor may be the way to go. What you'll be getting paid in is letters of rec and learning how to be independent, a good grad student, and what research looks like/specific skills such as using SPSS and research design, applied vs lab research, etc. - this skill set will improve your application since you are demonstrating you are already able to do part of the job of a grad student.
 
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MAClinician

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Part of your research can also include doing a forum search for the schools you listed. Several of them have been discussed on various threads here already and you will see pros/cons of schools discussed. As well as general tips to what to consider when applying and how to strengthen your application.
 
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mypointlesspov

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Part of your research can also include doing a forum search for the schools you listed. Several of them have been discussed on various threads here already and you will see pros/cons of schools discussed. As well as general tips to what to consider when applying and how to strengthen your application.

And if we're all being completely honest, it's gonna be mostly cons with that list because those schools are $$$$$$
 
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conky124

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Don't rule out PHD programs. The hurdle isn't whether you are smart enough compared to other applicants its more about what you have done and how you think critically about research. I got in with a lower GPA than you, it just took more time.

Also, I recommend taking some time to get research experience even if it means waiting a year or two to apply. You may find that you love research and if you find later that you don't want a primarily clinical career, you will have more options.
 
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ClinicalABA

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I have direct experience with students/graduates from William James and Antioch NE. I have notice EXTREME variability in clinical, professional, and academic abilities (including not knowing how to do an adequate literature search) in these students, with the "top" range being passable and the bottom range being, to put it bluntly, a nightmare to deal with (things like not showing up for work without calling and genuinely not seeing why this was a big deal; inability to write at a middle school level; lack of clinical abilities despite a CV showing coursework and practicum experience AND excellent letters of reference from faculty). Things that, literally, would have gotten you sent home in the first week from my graduate program. Despite the chance of getting an occasional qualified and I personally do not feel that it is worth the risk continue to have professional relationships with these students, and would be very leary of hiring a graduate without direct recommendation from a trusted colleague who would personally vouch for their abilities. Without exception, every student from William James mentioned crippling levels of future debt and regret over the amount that the school cost them.
 
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MiniLop

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Serious question: Would it worthwhile for a mod to pin a thread regarding general PsyD questions (specifically financial issues and diploma mill programs)?
 
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R. Matey

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I've supervised students from Pacific, interviewed there before I knew about funded programs, and have met graduates from there. Like others are saying, the variability in quality is huge because of the large cohort sizes they admit to fund their program. I was admitted and rejected their offer due to the high tuition and lack of options for funding.
 

ClinicalABA

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That's Antioch New England! The person somehow got an Ivy League med school postdoc, IIRC.
Remember, In the clinical psychology realm, "Ivy League" does not necessarily equate to "high quality." There are also some ivy associated psychiatric centers that have a bit of a psychoanalytic bent, and thus such a "dissertation" might not be as frowned upon.

I may have posted this before, but I was outside committee member on a "dissertation" committee at one of the listed schools. The student's research hypothesis was that there was no difference between the experimental and control groups, which they were going to "prove" with an ANOVA (as well as about a dozen other planned comparisons just "to see if there was anything significant, with no mention of alpha correction). I'm just a lowly non-researcher applied guy, but I was the only one who questioned this and, as it turned out, even knew it was an issue. When I'm the "stats guy" on the committee, you know there are systemic and quality issues with the dissertation process!
 
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futureapppsy2

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Remember, In the clinical psychology realm, "Ivy League" does not necessarily equate to "high quality." There are also some ivy associated psychiatric centers that have a bit of a psychoanalytic bent, and thus such a "dissertation" might not be as frowned upon.

I may have posted this before, but I was outside committee member on a "dissertation" committee at one of the listed schools. The student's research hypothesis was that there was no difference between the experimental and control groups, which they were going to "prove" with an ANOVA (as well as about a dozen other planned comparisons just "to see if there was anything significant, with no mention of alpha correction). I'm just a lowly non-researcher applied guy, but I was the only one who questioned this and, as it turned out, even knew it was an issue. When I'm the "stats guy" on the committee, you know there are systemic and quality issues with the dissertation process!
True. I should have included that it's a generally well-regarded Ivy League med school for clinical psychology postdocs.
 
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I can't speak too much for the programs themselves, but when I was doing my internship in school psychology (specialist level), I was at the same site as a student from William James College who was doing her doctorate in clinical psychology. This was a first year practicum for her (I believe). Anyway, she seemed well trained from the work that I did with her. Talking to her, she seemed to like the program and the teachers that she had. This was a few years ago.
 

chicandtoughness

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Hi! A couple years ago I actually applied to and got into most of the programs on your list: WJC, Antioch New England, Denver, Hartford, and CHC (I had no interest in the West Coast so I didn't apply Antioch Seattle or Pacific). Is there anything in particular you need to know? I ultimately chose not to attend any of them because I wasn't made of gold, and none of them provide good financial aid packages (no stipends, all loans, maybe tiny $2000 scholarships which is laughable). Training is what you make of it - I came in as an advanced placement student since I already had my masters so I got to skip year 1 of training at most of these schools.

If you can, I highly urge you to reassess and go for a PhD program. This profession does not make enough to sustain $200k+ of debt coming out of one of these programs. They're not bad programs if you're willing to put in the work, but they are also set up that you can slide under the radar and do the bare minimum. I had a WJC intern at my site a while ago who straight up didn't come in for 50% of the days she was scheduled (and when she was in, did a horrible job at her duties). I had another WJC intern at that same site the year later who went above and beyond to seek out additional supervision, planned groups, and took the time to learn about the population she was working with. With PsyD programs, it really is what you make of it.
 
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Hi! A couple years ago I actually applied to and got into most of the programs on your list: WJC, Antioch New England, Denver, Hartford, and CHC (I had no interest in the West Coast so I didn't apply Antioch Seattle or Pacific). Is there anything in particular you need to know? I ultimately chose not to attend any of them because I wasn't made of gold, and none of them provide good financial aid packages (no stipends, all loans, maybe tiny $2000 scholarships which is laughable). Training is what you make of it - I came in as an advanced placement student since I already had my masters so I got to skip year 1 of training at most of these schools.

If you can, I highly urge you to reassess and go for a PhD program. This profession does not make enough to sustain $200k+ of debt coming out of one of these programs. They're not bad programs if you're willing to put in the work, but they are also set up that you can slide under the radar and do the bare minimum. I had a WJC intern at my site a while ago who straight up didn't come in for 50% of the days she was scheduled (and when she was in, did a horrible job at her duties). I had another WJC intern at that same site the year later who went above and beyond to seek out additional supervision, planned groups, and took the time to learn about the population she was working with. With PsyD programs, it really is what you make of it.

I was considering applying to Hartford this Fall. Hartford's website indicates that you could get financial aid to maybe pay for ~1/4'th the tuition. Did you not find that to be the case in actuality? I was considering applying because it seems like you could attend with only paying ~$70k over 4 years?
 

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I was considering applying to Hartford this Fall. Hartford's website indicates that you could get financial aid to maybe pay for ~1/4'th the tuition. Did you not find that to be the case in actuality? I was considering applying because it seems like you could attend with only paying ~$70k over 4 years?
Given the plethora of clinical psychology programs where you do not have to pay any tuition at all, I would strongly reconsider applying to a program where you're maybe getting 25% off.
 
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CatLover&PsychEnthusiast

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I guess I didn’t mention but I am a psych major! One of the things that I’m worried about the most is that I go to school online, so I don’t really have research opportunities. I’ll definitely try to get a job again or do some volunteer work. I’m super worried about getting those letters of recommendation.

Hi OP, I would strongly encourage you to consider post-bac research opportunities at nearby universities. I took a few years off in between undergrad and grad and it was the best decision I’ve ever made. It also helped me save money before grad school and get a taste of ‘the real world’ and what a 9-5 feels like. Feel free to PM me and id be happy to chat with more specifics. Don’t put yourself down about your intellect, l bet you’re smarter than you’re giving yourself credit for. Also highly recommend ‘Mitchs Uncensored Advice’ for clinical psychology, google it. Goodluck!
 
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Sanman

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I was considering applying to Hartford this Fall. Hartford's website indicates that you could get financial aid to maybe pay for ~1/4'th the tuition. Did you not find that to be the case in actuality? I was considering applying because it seems like you could attend with only paying ~$70k over 4 years?
Completion time ranges from 5-6 years on average tending toward 6. At $29k per year before interest. You will likely be at double your estimate and assume a minimum of $100k. That is before eating or putting a roof over your head.
 
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Istilldontknow

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Hi,

I went to the University of Hartford and would be happy to answer any questions.

As far as tuition, you end up paying about 100k (25k for four years). At most, you can get an assistantship that pays about 2k a semester.
 

Istilldontknow

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I was considering applying to Hartford this Fall. Hartford's website indicates that you could get financial aid to maybe pay for ~1/4'th the tuition. Did you not find that to be the case in actuality? I was considering applying because it seems like you could attend with only paying ~$70k over 4 years?

This information is not accurate. The only assistantships offered are teaching and research for 6 hours a week which pay less than 2k a semester. (And only a small percentage of students get these assistantships). You can also apply for a diversity scholarship which pays (i think) about 3k a semester.
 
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albatross_at_crossroads

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Funded by...their parents? oh sheesh
At least research and teaching responsibilities should pay more

On topic - OP, if you're not independently wealthy (or funded by parents, sponsor, etc.) than I also advise to consider looking at other (at least partially) funded options to reach your goal. I'm not sure what you mean by "not smart enough", but there are some less competitive options out there that will permit you to work clinically with your target population upon graduation. Have you considered:
a) school psychology programs?
b) counselling psychology programs?
c) PsyD programs with at least some reasonable funding?

There are some solid programs out there that won't bankrupt you and you also seem to be willing to relocate, so try to broaden your search.
Many many moons ago, while applying, I interviewed at U. of Akron for their counselling program. Seemed like a good balanced program, with opportunities for research and plenty of clinical work and currently offers tuition + 14k for research and/or teaching responsibilities. I don't have any current insight into the program at the moment, but I doubt much has changed. You'd probably need some loans to keep up with the cost of living, but it shouldn't be too bad.
This is only one example of a good program where you don't have to be "too smart" and "research superstar" to get in. I'm sure there are many more. Don't pawn your future if you don't have to.
 
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Therapist4Chnge

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I don’t know if I’m smart enough to get into PhD programs so I’ve been looking at PsyD programs. Here’s my list right now
Quality programs will *all* be competitive, whether they are Ph.D. or Psy.D., implying otherwise is frankly insulting. I don't think you meant to insult people, but it's important to research if your assumptions are accurate....or not. If you don't like or want to do research, don't pursue doctoral training. Period. Full stop. You need to have a foundation in research training to understand and ethically practice as a doctoral provider. The vast majority of doctoral students (Ph.D. & Psy.D.) go on to clinical careers. There isn't a research degree v. clinical degree bc research is foundational to *both* degree types. I'm not talking about those fly-by-night programs, online sham programs (Capella, University of the Rockies, etc), or non-license eligible programs.

As for the programs you listed, the only program I'd remotely recommend is Denver, but the cost is astronomical, so I cannot recommend it given the exorbitant debt load associated with it.
 
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"...there are some less competitive options out there that will permit you to work clinically with your target population upon graduation. Have you considered:
a) school psychology programs?
b) counselling psychology programs?
c) PsyD programs with at least some reasonable funding?"
I have to second the wisdom offered here. I will go even further and suggest other mid-level options such as behavioral analysis (depending on your state's licensure requirements) or clinical social work. Many state universities offer such programs at very affordable rates. (Some MAY even offer partial funding?)

You are nearing a threshold where you must carefully identify and define your career aspirations and goals. Some folks require doctoral training for their intended goals. But many others do not.
 

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